Promoting the Promotion (Forever Poi -Day 1)

Forever Poi—the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency book featuring female private eyes JJ, Rey and Linda—is available for a $0.99 and free promotion December 10 through the 14.  Woo-hoo (as Rey may say with a high-five and a grin).

Novice P.I.s JJ, Rey and Linda have stumbled and fumbled through two major cases with surprisingly stellar results.  Now, the trio has to discover who set ablaze two happening Chinatown art galleries, which left a couple of charcoal-broiled corpses in the rubble.  Any number of persons in the local art world could be responsible.  A cast of curious suspects includes a haughty gallery owner with a questionable past, an art consultant as treacherous as she is beautiful, a risk-loving photographer, and an aspiring manager with a dicey history.  Perhaps determining the reason will help: a major insurance pay-out, the ugly break-up of a long-term relationship, out-and-out evil vengeance, or a cover-up for felonious transgressions?

Perhaps you know someone who enjoys reading cozies with a little bit of grit?  If so, then Forever Poi might just be the perfect little stocking-stuffer (t’is the perfect time for giving, after all).

Please check us out on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Tyler-Colins/e/B01KHOZAL2

NOTE: $0.99 promotions are active only in the US and UK stores.  FREE promotions are active in all Amazon marketplaces.

Persistent Posts . . .

. . . every day this week.

Why, you may ask?  Because Forever Poi and Coco’s Nuts are being featured for a $0.99 and free promotion this week.  How exciting is that?  For moi, very!!!  <LOL>

As an FYI, Poi will be available December 10th through the 14th and Nuts December 13th through the 17th.  As such, the gals and I will post every day as a friendly reminder . . . and provide a link, of course.

Aloha from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency trio (JJ, Rey and Linda are hoping you’ll partake of the offerings).

Mahalo.

Thank You to Jay

I want to extend my most appreciative thanks to Jay (James J. Cudney IV) for the wonderful review of Forever Poi.

https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/09/21/book-review-forever-poi-by-tyler-colins/

Fellow blogger and writer Jay is a force to be reckoned with.  He’s everything I’d like to be as a blogger and writer: proficient, focused, supportive … a consummate professional.  If you’ve not yet checked out his fantastic blog (as I continually say, I’m totally envious) and fabulous books, like the Braxton Campus mystery series, please do!

https://jamesjcudney.com/

Jay2A

♦ ♦ ♦

Book Review: Forever Poi by Tyler Colins

by James J. Cudney IV

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Forever Poi by Tyler Colins
Forever Poi, the 4th book in the Triple Threat Mysteries series by Tyler Colins, was published in July 2019. I’ve previously read the first three and was psyched to devour the latest one this month. Three smart and sassy female detectives run the Triple Threat Investigations agency in Hawaii, but the series started out in Connecticut and moved its way westward. What an exotic and thrilling location to set a murder mystery series… Ms. Colins has imbued the characters and setting with something exciting, vibrant, and unique. I’ve seen tremendous growth over the course of the four books, and the private detectives are learning on the job as quickly as they possibly can.

Today, I’m focusing on Forever Poi, where the ladies discover two bodies who’d been killed in an art gallery fire. The police bring Triple Threat in for assistance, quickly determining the inferno was intentionally set and the victims were definitely murdered. Unfortunately, JJ and her cousins had recently met at least one of the two lost souls, which makes the investigation all that much more difficult. The hunt for the killer or killers has the ladies traipsing all over the continental US, with a particularly memorable stop in Chicago.

Ms. Colins’ story contains a large number of complex characters, all with hilarious and interesting names. One if even called Crispy, and yes, that’s a connection with the fire. The three detectives are methodical in the search for all the clues and hidden secrets about the two men who owned the gallery and the seemingly disconnected woman Lolita who died in the blaze. We also learn about a death that occurred before the book started, but it might not be connected. Kudos to the author for layering in the details for readers to try to solve the crime themselves.

A few fun things to note, as these are the points that always make Ms. Colins’ books stand out: (a) the catch phrase ‘Hey-ho,’ (b) finding out the true meaning of ‘Forever Poi,’ which isn’t what you think, (c) someone else besides me says ‘Toodles,’ and (d) that totally unexpected scene when Cash (Richie J) returns to visit JJ. At first, I was freaked out, then I realized what was going on, but afterward, it started heating up again. I won’t spoil the surprise for those who’ve read previous books, but it’s an amusing one. The series is edgy but not over-the-top. Appropriate uses of ‘F Off’ and references to ‘Nudie Art’ make the characters and plot seem quite real.

When the key suspect in the crimes is presumed dead midway into the story, you’re left with a ‘now what’ll happen?’ moment. Then, the ladies find themselves trapped with the potential for a bomb to explode. It got pretty close in the end… but they always get their killer, don’t they? This was a great entry in the series, and I’m excited by the news at the end about the next book in 2020. It’ll be on my reading list. I hope it’s on yours too.

Forever Poi Promo Post

A quick shameless self-promotion post – nothing new if you’ve seen my recent Facebook posts – but worth mentioning (again) from this humble author’s perspective.

Forever Poi, the fourth in the Triple Threat Investigation Agency series, is available for .99 through September 9th on Amazon, thanks to a New Chapter promotion. This case has private eyes JJ, Rey, and Linda solving a double-arson and murder—specifically, who torched two Oahu Chinatown art galleries and left two charred bodies in the rubble?  The trio encounters a sundry of suspects, each possessing a viable motive for having done so—insurance collection, unwanted lover, dicey past, sour grapes …?

The gals would love for you to accompany them as they track leads and clues, encounter strange and suspicious persons, and become embroiled in one of their most puzzling cases yet. WPpromo3

On a different note, I want to extend heartfelt gratitude to those who’ve provided me with much needed [I’m so lost] and much appreciated [I’d be lost without you] support and advice.  Jay, Jina, and Sean—thank you, thank you, thank you!

 

Forever … Floundering?

As you know, when it comes to self-promotion, I suck.  Big time.  As I’ve mentioned more than once, time just ain’t my friend.  <LOL>

That said, Next Chapter (formerly Creativia) has me scheduled for a promotion (.99 for Forever Poi on Amazon) starting September 5th.  That’s so exciting!

Consequently, I’m keeping this week’s Wednesday post short so I can scramble to learn/do as much as possible … which will be quite comical to see (of this I have no doubt).

Before I dash, I want to extend a huge thank you to Jina S. Bazzar, fellow blogger and author of Heir of Ashes (and other great books).  She’s always so very helpful and supportive. WPFPoi3 

 

Thank you, Jina!  And thank you, Next Chapter!

(I’ll get my act together, of this you can be sure.  It may not be tomorrow, but it will happen.)

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Foever Poi . . . Forever Happy

The cover for Forever Poi is ready—thank you, Creativia!

The purple and red work well . . . attention-grabbing in its simplicity.

How do the gals feel about this one?  JJ’s likes the lips—they speak to her.  Linda thinks the colors and font are hot.  Rey loves the lipstick (a shade she’d wear in a blink).  As an FYI, the tsking and sighs have ceased; she’s officially over the fact she and her colleagues no longer grace the covers.WPForeverPoi4

When the last cover arrives, that makeover for The Triple Threat Investigation Agency Facebook page (and this blog) are gonna happen.

Speaking of happen, if anyone would like to help make this new book happen, I’d be very grateful . . . thankful, happy, delighted, grateful, overjoyed, stoked, grateful, indebted, and pleased.

. . . Did I say grateful?

Ready to rock’n’roll with Forever Poi

Like, how many months have I been trying to get “Forever Poi” packaged/done?   Seems like many.  But it’s all good now—Creativia, “a community-driven, next-generation hybrid publisher”, has accepted me to their author roster.  There’s a lot to organize and do, but it’s all good.  One task at a time.

The front and back covers you see above will likely not be the ones used by Creativia; they’re ones my long-time designer and formatter created.  They’re much in keeping with the previous covers, though the trio do look a bit different.  Cosmetic surgery perhaps?  <LOL>

In the event you’re looking for a publisher, here are some facts about Creativia (pulled from their site):

♦   Besides their partner network, they use marketing channels: Amazon Marketing Services, Bookbub Ads, Facebook Ads, Google Ads.

♦   They cover: proofreading, cover design, eBook and paperbook layout design, worldwide publishing, marketing, sales and royalty payment.

♦   Achievements include: #1 bestsellers in major Amazon categories, book translations into nine languages, and features in high-profile newsletters.

As a fellow Creativia author advised, it’s all about what you’re willing to put into it.  As an writer, you must invest time and effort/energy.  More simply said: reap and ye shall sow.  Given my due diligence and the feedback I’ve received, I’m happy [and excited] to have signed on.

Yes, I’m feeling good about this new phase of my writing life.  As Rey’d say: keep ya posted! thumbs up

Forever Poi, Forever Hopeful

It’s Linda on post patrol today.  The Boss is still under the weather, but then the weather in her neck of the woods is under-whelming.  <LSMH>  (Winter’s on its way and she’s not overly excited about it.)

Given I’m a food and wine blogger when I’m not a P.I., I thought I’d post about poi—firstly, by explaining the significance of “Forever Poi”, the fourth Triple Threat Investigation Agency case and, secondly, providing a little background about poi (with recipes).

The Boss explained it quite nicely, succinctly, in her new Smashwords interview: “In terms of me: it’s an homage to Hawaii.  Poi is a Hawaiian staple, a delicious food made from taro.  Hawaii [a hope, a dream] is in my heart and soul and always will be; hence, forever poi.”

In terms of the case, there’s mention of “Forever Poi” as associated with a comment from an intriguing [if not dangerous] individual who shall remain nameless.  (Alternatively said: please read our new adventure.)

The three of us enjoy poi different ways.  I love poi as “cereal”, sprinkled with raw sugar and cinnamon.  Rey prefers taro in the form of chips.  And JJ likes it in the form of soft-serve ice-cream or mooncakes.

For those not in the know about poi, it’s an essential Hawaiian staple, made from the underground plant stem of a root vegetable known as taro.  There’s a lot of fascinating information re its origins and where and how it’s used, but I’ll leave that for another time.  Feel free, however, to go Googling.

A quick note, though: traditional poi is made by mashing the cooked corm (plant stem) of the taro.  The time-honored method is performed on a wooden board with a pestle (pounding implement) while the modern method involves a food processor (I’ll opt for traditional anytime, thank you).  You can enjoy it fresh or allow it to ferment.

There’s an intriguing way of measuring consistency: “one finger”, “two finger”, and “three finger” poi relates to how many fingers are necessary to scoop a mouthful of the delicious mashed product.  The thicker the poi, the fewer the fingers.  Thickness or runniness is a purely personal preference.

Now that I’ve condensed a plethora of info into a pint-sized post, let me share some easy-peasy recipes: Simple Poi (a fav of mine), Simple Poi Mochi (a fav of JJ’s), and Simple Poi-Nut Bread (a fav of Rey’s).  . . . Can you tell the three of us really like “simple”?  <LOL>

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Simple Poi

♥ 4 lbs taro root 2 ½ tbsp coconut oil   ♥ 2 ½ tbsp butter   ♥ 2 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt   ♥ 6-8 tbsp celery or asparagus juice   ♥ water

⇒ Preheat the oven to 300°F.     ⇒ Wash the taro root and pierce consistently all over.     ⇒ Bake for about 2 hours (until soft all the way through).     ⇒ Cut open the taro root and spoon out the taro into a large bowl. Throw away the skin.     ⇒ Add the salt and juice.     ⇒ Mix well.     ⇒ Cover with a cloth and leave to ferment for a minimum of 24 hours.     ⇒ Once fermented, melt the butter in a saucepan.     ⇒ If you’re going traditional and mashing the taro with a wooden board and pestle, do so, and then add to a bowl.  If you’re going modern, add the taro to a food processor and “mash”.     ⇒ Add the oil and butter.     ⇒ Add the water and blend to the desired consistency.

(You can add various “flavors” or serve it as is.  As mentioned, I like sugar and cinnamon, but anything’s doable.  Feel free to experiment.)

Simple Poi Mochi

♥   1 lb poi, ready-made/bought or homemade (see “Simple Poi” recipe above)   ♥ 2 cups water, give or take   ♥ 2 10-ounce packages Asian sweet rice flour   ♥ 1 ½ cups sugar   ♥ 1 quart canola oil for deep frying

⇒ Combine everything except the oil.     ⇒ Add water slowly (you want a thick batter).      ⇒ Drop by the teaspoon into the heated oil and deep fry until slightly crisp.     ⇒ Drain.     ⇒ Makes about three dozen pieces.     ⇒ Feel free to dust with sugar or a sugar-spice combination.

(You can add various “flavors” to the mixture before frying.  JJ likes red-bean paste.)

Simple Poi Nut Bread

♥ 1 lb poi, ready-made/bought or homemade (see “Simple Poi” recipe above)   ♥ ¾ cup water   ♥ 2 cups flour   ♥ ¾ cups brown sugar   ♥ 1 tsp cinnamon   ♥ 1 tsp nutmeg   ♥ 2 tsp baking powder   ♥ 1 tsp sea salt   ♥ 3 eggs, beaten   ♥ 1 cup oil   ♥ 2 tsp vanilla   ♥ 1 ½ cups macadamia nuts (or substitute your favorite nut, or a combination thereof)   ♥ ½ cup currants (or dried fruit of preference)

⇒ Mix the poi and water together.  Let stand in a bowl.     ⇒ In a second bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.     ⇒ Combine both mixtures.     ⇒ Add the remaining ingredients.     ⇒ Add to an oiled/buttered pan and bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes.

Hope you enjoyed the post about poi.  It’s a bit of a departure from the usual, but what’s wrong with digressing now and again?

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Coming . . . Soon?

You’ve seen them—those signs advising that a restaurant or retail store is, yup, opening soon.  In fact, you’ve seen them day after day, week after week, and month after month.  Sometimes, yup, even year after year.

I can now totally relate to that.  It seems as if “Forever Poi” has been “forever coming soon”.   <LMAO>

There are times when I want to smack my head into a brick wall.  Never, ever, has it taken me this long to get a project completed.  Never, ever, have I “lollygagged” (what a great word) when it comes to my passion of writing. WPCrazyFaceC

Okay, okay, it’s not that I’ve truly been lollygagging.  It’s that I’ve been finding it difficult to find [sufficient] time to work on my labor-of-love, a fact I’ve shared, ad nauseam.  Another reason to smack my head.  Maybe the action will put a stop to that sense of madness, the kind you experience when too many disruptions/diversions distract from the ability to get something urgent, significant, or special done.

But, as they say, everything in its own sweet time.  So what if my e-book is behind a year?  It’ll get there.  So what if my blog isn’t where I want it to be?  It’ll get there.  So what if I’ve not been able to network, promote or market as I’d like to (dream of)?  It’ll [all] get there.

Patience, as they also say, is a virtue.  I readily acknowledge, however, that I am not very virtuous (though it genuinely is at the top of the personal-development plan).  <LOL>

I’ve returned to to-do lists.  Small ones.  Workable ones.  This week’s list encompasses:

  • researching formatters / cover designers
  • writing an interview (maybe two)
  • doing another installment of “Odd Woman Out”
  • continuing with Facebook Triple Threat Investigation Agency posts
  • learning something new, even if only a valuable tidbit (as opposed to a Timbit, which is a good [and very yummy] thing, too).

<LOL>   You know, I should indulge in copious amounts of caffeine more often: this post has been a breeze to pen.  It’s amazing how jazzed you feel, as if you truly can truly do anything.

Here’s to always opening sooner than later, my friends.

. . . Now, where’d I put that can of Red Bull?

 

Starting from Scratch

It sucks when you lose someone you’ve come to like/depend on for your e-books.  Okay, I haven’t exactly lost her; she’s just MIA (or totally ignoring me), which I suppose amounts to one and the same: loss.

Time is already tough to juggle for this non-juggler (can you hear those balls dropping?).  It’ll be a daunting task to locate a new resource. WPSatPoss

Sigh, sigh, sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Okay, self-pity moment over.  <LOL>  Pulling up socks, lacing up [army] boots.

The positive side: yes, I do have to start from scratch, but I’ll also relearn everything . . . recall all that’s been forgotten over the year-and-a-half since attempting to get “Forever Poi” completed.  Once I get over the “trepidation factor”, it’ll all prove a positive and insightful experience.

On that note, I’m returning to the beginning of the end: formatting an e-book that’s ready for publication.

There are quite a number of sites that will do this for free.  Free is nice.  Who doesn’t like f-r-e-e?  That said, though, I’m not sure I’m ready (or willing) to go it alone.  I’d prefer to have someone hold my hand, so to speak.  But please don’t let my lack of confidence hold you back from taking the free route.

Some things to note if this is your first e-publishing adventure.  E-books will look different on different devices; as such, text has to meet certain e-book formatting requirements (to ensure the document is neat and readable).  Some e-book publishers will request you stick to a specific format.  You may want to avoid getting super fancy and providing too much “pizzazz” (like a sundry of fancy fonts).  Keep it [fairly] simple.

You’d be best to start with a Word document/file which, of course, you’ve previously formatted for formatting.  <LOL>  You can use an epub, too, but they aren’t as easy to work with; changes are harder to make (this I can attest to).  Formatting is fairly simple, if all goes right—fortunately, there’s a ton of info out there that will guide you from one step to the next.

PDF or epub are the options for formatting your e-book.  The former is said to work best with complex, image-heavy e-books while the latter is perfect for simpler ones.  But do  check what e-publishers want/require (Kindle will have different “rules” from Smashwords, for example).

Visit various sites to see which free formatting folks you’d like to go with, or find a professional formatter.  They’re not that expensive.  (I initially found mine through Smashwords and she was great, so I may return there before checking out other sites.)

Next task after formatting: cover and back designs.  Unless you’re skilled or adventurous enough to do it yourself (I’m not) . . . or fellow writers recommend someone reputable (anyone have one?). . . do that due diligence.  You don’t want to end up paying an exorbitant fee, unless you’re Rockefeller rich, of course.  (Me, I’m going to pull out Piggy and start counting pennies.)

Given “Forever Poi” is approximately two-three weeks away from final completion, I’d better get those scuttling ducks [back] in a row.

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